tv PBS News Hour PBS May 17, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> brown: non-white births now account for a majority of newborns in america, that according to new census numbers released today. good evening, i'm jeffrey brown. >> warner: and i'm margaret warner. on the "newshour" tonight, we assess the data and the impact on society, the economy, immigration policy and life in the u.s. >> brown: then, we have a newsmaker interview with treasury secretary timothy geithner on jobs, j.p. morgan's spectacular losses, and once again, a looming debt crisis. >> we're fighting wars, we've got a major financial crisis in europe. we have all these challenges. political politicians threatening to default if we don't adopt a partisan agenda. irresponsible.
>> warner: ray suarez has the next in our daily download series. tonight, how the presidential campaigns use youtube as a cheap and effective way to get eyeballs on campaign videos. >> brown: from thailand, fred de sam lazaro reports on one man's efforts to combat hardships and instill a new way of thinking in rural regions of the southeast asian nation. >> the only road out of poverty is through business enterprise and this is what we're doing. ♪ >> warner: and we remember the singer songwriter known as the queen of disco, donna summer. >> brown: that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> and by the bill and melinda gates foundation. dedicated to the idea that all people deserve the chance to live a healthy productive life.
and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> warner: for the first time ever, white babies account for fewer than half of newborns in the united states. new census data released today showed that on july 1st of last year, just 49.6% of babies one year old or younger were of white european ancestry. 50.4% were minority. latinos are the fastest-growing minority, accounting for 26% of all births. african americans made up 15%, while nearly 5% were asian.
the remainder were american indian, mixed race or other groups. the nation as a whole is still 62% white. but minorities make up the majority in four states-- hawaii, california, new mexico and texas, plus the district of columbia. we explore this tipping point and the implications with william frey, senior demographer at the brookings institution and marcelo suarez-orozco, professor of globalization and education at new york university. he's done extensive research on immigrant families and their children. co-thank you both for being with us. professor, beginning with you, what jumps out at you when you see these numbers? what's most notable here? >> well, what's most notable is that our country a country where immigration is history and it is a country as we see today where immigration is destiny. it's a part of our history and
it's fundamentally the story of the remaking of our promise as an economy, as a society, as a democracy. >> warner: mr. frey, help us understand the numbers a little better. to what degree is this based also on an increase in self-identification? >> well, to some degree it is. but to a large degree it's real. if we look at the demographic structure of the united states, our white population is getting older over time which means a smaller share of white women are in their child bearing years at the same time we have a bigger increase in the minority women in child bearing years. >> warner: where is it most concentrated? that is the majority of births being minority rather than white? i think we have a map you helped prepare from 2010. >> yes, they're heavily concentrated in the southwest, in the southeast and in big
metropolitan areas as well as some places that have large native american populations you can see in the map there's speckles of them up there in north dakota and south dakota and elsewhere. so it's not uniform across the country and in some places we had majority minority births for quite a while. >> warner: professor suarez orozco, what do you think is driving this? how much of it is immigration? how much is higher birthrate as mr. frey was saying? >> well, the story when the census and data came out was really the story of immigration. i think now 12 years later we see the eck co-of that very large wave two generations in the making is changing the structure of our future moving forward. the story today the story of the second generation. it's the story of the u.s. born children of immigrants and it's a story that represents a turning point. there are a lot of good news
hidden behind these numbers. babies of hispanic and asian origin, for example, afterroe caribbean, as well, tend to be healthier than comparable samples of non-hispanic white babies. so it's a turning point. there are important opportunities here and huge challenges moving forward. >> warner: bill frey, how much of this also when we see these numbers, this shift, is due to the... the aging of the white population and how much of the white population is in prime child bearing years versus non-white. >> a much smaller share of the white population are in their child bearing years but i can give you one statistic. that's between 2000 and 2010 there was an absolute net decline in white children in the united states. >> pelley: and absolute decline. >> more white children were moving beyond age 18 than were coming in at the bottom. what that tells us is all of these minority children are
essential to the growth of our younger population. >> do you think if this... say all immigration stopped tomorrow for the purpose of argument, would this trend nonetheless continue? in other words, the differing birthrates, this is inexorable to some degree? >> yes, and the fact is... it's true hispanic birth rates are somewhat higher than the general population but the fact that they're applied to a younger population makes those number of births higher and that population is already here if we stopped immigration tomorrow it may affect the size of the hispanic population ten or 15 years from now but in the next several years we're still going to have all of these new minority births as i say who should be welcome given the fact that our white population is getting oder. >> warner: so professor, what are the implications of this, say, for education? when you look at the different levels right now, certainly, of academic admooechlt schooling between whites and certainly
blacks or latinos. >> well, that's, i think, the biggest challenge. so while there are optimistic contours to these numbers, there are a number of issues that we need to pause and rethink. i think first is the matter of are we as a society going to be able to transfer the skills, the competencies, the sensibilities to this new generation of americans to thrive in the 20 2-1st century economy and society and economy and society that is very, very different from what our education system in a way evolves to deal with. and that's what we're falling behind. we're not teaching kids... our new kids, immigrant origin kids, kids of color, we need the skills they're going to need to
thrive as citizens, as workers, as members of the american family. >> warner: and do you see bill frey what you call a generation... what are how do you get the older population to pay for this schooling, for example? >> i think this is a key challenge. i agree with the professor that the big challenge is making sure we have resources for these young people to get the kind of education they deserve and that the country deserves them to have because they'll be helping to make our economy much more prosperous. but for people over age 50 blacks are the biggest minority group and it's a fairly small part of that population. it's a largely white older population. these are not their kids and they're not their grandchildren and sometimes there's some resistance to have-to-having tax
money paid for people who they feel are not quite part of their community and i think this is the political challenge for political leaders, community leaders, religious leaders to send this message to the older part of the population that your future social security that your future health care, the productivity of this country depends vitale on the ability of these young people to get good educations and be productive in the labor force. >> warner: and what about, professor, the implications for american culture? we already see our culture changing but where do you think this is headed? >> i think american culture has been immensely plastic and elastic and able to metabolize wave after wave of new arrivals if you look at the gold standard of integration, if you look at the movement towards the english language, if you look at the ability of the new immigrant groups to connect with the labor
market if you look at marriage pattern it is key is the fundamental measures of how the culture is metabolizing new arrivals. i think there are data showing very, very much a positive story, a story where there are peer countries in europe that are also dealing with large scale immigration. immigrants to the rust learning english fast, they're connecting with the labor market and they're marrying outside their group overtime and across generations at a very, very large rate so american culture has been extremely flexible and able to make its own whether it's food, music, dance, dress,
immigrant contributions that are metabolized and really made and they become mainstream and part of mainstream american culture. >> warner: well, professor marcelo suarez-orozco and william frey, thank you both. >> thank you. >> brown: still to come on the "newshour": treasury secretary geithner; the 2012 campaign playing out on web video; teaching thailand to help itself and remembering donna summer. but first, the other news of the day. here's kwame holman. >> holman: the trading losses at j.p. morgan chase are getting worse. a report in today's "new york times" said they've surged at least 50% in recent days. bank chairman and c.e.o. jamie dimon had originally estimated the losses at $2 billion over the last six weeks. with the additional losses, the total is now at least $3 billion. still, analysts say the bank's overall health is strong. a fight over solar panels flared the questions kept coming today about the future of the euro- zone. by all accounts, money was flowing out of greece, where
far-left leaders are agitating to break a bail-out agreement and end austerity measures. meanwhile, the prime minister of britain warned against letting the 17- nation eurozone break up. we have a report from alex forrest of "independent television news". >> reporter: it's not quite time to time hit the panic button yet. but today in manchester, david cameron admitted these are perilous economic times but that and with the greek crisis overshadowing everything, the prime minister laid out again the stark choice facing eurozone leaders. >> the eurozone is at a crossroads. it either has to make-up or it is looking at a potential breakup. either europe has a committed, stable, successful eurozone, with an effective firewall, well-capitalized or regulated banks, or we are in uncharted territory which carries huge risks for everybody. >> reporter: given what yove said, do you think now that the eurozone is doomed to fail? >> we have to be clear that it's in our interests for their to be a working eurozone and a working
euro. i think what's damaging is the uncertainty of there not being the right clarity of what needs to be done. >> reporter: that uncertainty is facing political and economic uncertainty but the left-wing leader who could hold the key to greek power in next month's election, says austerity leads only one way. >> everybody now understands with this policy we are going directly to the hell, and we want to change this way. >> reporter: he will certainly get some sympathy from the new french president who met with his cabinet today. but even socialist francois hollande must be wondering how the eurozone will get out of this mess. >> holman: the trouble was compounded by rumors of a run on a newly nationalized bank in spain. all of that helped drive stocks down across europe, adding to losses over the past two weeks. wall street had a rough day, too. fears about greece were compounded by disappointing reports on manufacturing and
estimates of future growth. the dow jones industrial average lost 156 points to close at 12,442, its 11th decline in 12 days. the nasdaq fell 60 points to close at 2,813. for the first time, facebook stock will be traded publicly tomorrow. its opening price was set late today, at $38 a share. a fight over solar panels flared into the open today between the u.s. and china. the commerce department ruled chinese companies are dumping solar products in the u.s., at cheap prices subsidized by the chinese government. the ruling called for import tariffs averaging 31%. several american firms sought the ruling, but most warned it could lead to a trade war. republican mitt romney has begun to narrow his fundraising gap with president obama. new figures today showed romney's campaign-- along with the republican national committee-- brought in just more than $40 million in april. president obama and the
democratic national committee raised $43.6 million in the same period. the totals do not include hundreds of millions of dollars collected by so-called super political action committees. president obama nominated a new ambassador to myanmar today-- the first in 22 years. derek mitchell currently serves as special envoy to myanmar, also known as burma. his nomination today was the latest sign of fast-thawing relations with the southeast asian country. secretary of state hillary clinton hosted myanmar's foreign minister today, and welcomed his government's reforms, after years of military rule. >> this is a moment for us to recognize that the progress which has occurred in the last year towards democratization and national reconciliation is irreversible, as the minister said to me. the united states wants to do everything it can to ensure that
is a reality. >> holman: the u.s. also is easing restrictions on trade and investment in myanmar. government troops in yemen made new advances today toward a key al-qaeda stronghold in the south. the expected assault on zinjibar is part of a larger offensive, aiming to uproot militants who've taken control in parts of the region. also today, yemeni officials reported three militants were killed and two wounded in a missile strike by a u.s. drone aircraft. in the netherlands, an international tribunal suspended the war crimes trial of ratko mladic, the bosnian serb army commander, a day after it began. the judges said prosecutors made significant errors in failing to disclose evidence to the defense. mladic faces 11 charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes tied to the bosnian civil war in the 1990s.
prosecutors in florida have released evidence showing trayvon martin had marijuana in his urine and blood when he was killed. that finding comes from the autopsy on the teenager. he was shot to death in february by george zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer. zimmerman is charged with second degree murder but claims he acted in self-defense. prosecutors also released a photo today taken after the confrontation showing zimmerman with a bloody nose. those are some of the day's major stories. now back to jeff. >> brown: and we turn to our newsmaker interview with treasury secretary timothy geithner, now the longest- serving member of president obama's economic team. i met up with him this morning in baltimore as the secretary visited local business people and companies. what lessons do you take from a company like this? >> they're growing. they're hiring. they're investing. they're bringing a lot of innovation and technology to improved productivity. >> brown: secretary geithner was talking about marlin steel wire, a small baltimore company where
he took a tour this morning. for geithner, this is a model for the kind of growth he and the president want to see a growing american company that actually makes things. a manufacturer of wire baskets that employs 30 workers and now exports to some 36 countries around the world. something a all that number of jobs. this is not going to bring back the millions that... >> no, but there are hundreds and hundreds of thousands of small businesses across the country like this. these guys are making things. they're making things you can feel and they illustrate one of the strengths of recovery so far which is manufacturing, doing pretty well, getting stronger all the time. probably because of export growth and probably because america is becoming so much more competitive so it's a good example that if new you invest in people and training and innovation you can be very competitive, even in a world that's much more competitive than it used to be. >> brown: the visit was also a
part of an ongoing effort to get out of washington and premoat the administration's economic agenda. and there are success stories to point to, but there's also much that make's geithner's pitch a tough sell. sluggish job and economic growth new turmoil in europe, j.p. morgan's spectacular trading losses that put a renewed focus on wall street banks and now in washington the flairup once again of a fight over the federal debt limit. republican w republican house speaker john boehner and president obama jousting over spending and tax policies raising the speck tech of a fiscal crisis by the end of the year. >> well, here we are again this week where the debt limit question has bubbled up. do you see... >> can you believe it? >> brown: can you believe it? >> i can't. i don't understand it. >> brown: you can't understand what? >> look how much damage it caused the country last august. it was terribly damaging to the country and the idea you can govern effectively at this time in american history, we're fighting wars, we've got a major
financial crisis in europe, we have all the challenges as the rest of the country with political poll politicians threatening to default if we don't adopt a partisan political agenda. it's deeply irresponsible. there's no basis for it. and for those who argue you need to threaten default to induce politicians to act, i would remind people at the end of this year we have a very powerful incentive in these automatic spending cuts and the bush tax cuts, that's a powerful incentives to get both sides to come together and agree on long-term fiscal reforms. >> brown: but in the midst of a political campaign do you think we're headed for another impasse? >> it can be completely avoidable, completely avoidable needs to be avoidable. what we should do is make sure that we bring people together after the election and agree on a set of reforms that put our deaf sis on a glide path to a
more sustainable level to make sure they're phased in gradually so they don't hurt the economy. >> another subject. this week we learned j.p. morgan chase, the largest bank in the country, lost $2 plus billion. today we learned it's probably at least $3 billion. people who have worried about the banks, the financial crisis thinks the banks have not learned their lessons. they think the regulations that were tried have not kicked in enough. the banks have fought those off. what lessons do you learn from this? >> this is a pretty significant risk management failure and it makes a very powerful case for the importance of financial reform, tough, effective financial reforms. >> brown: more than we have already? >> we're going to make sure. and what's the test of reform? the test for reform is not do we prevent banks from making mistakes or taking risks or losing money because that's going to happen. our job is to make sure when they make those mistakes they don't cause further damage to the economy again and these are forms are very effective and part of the reason why even this large a mistake is going to have
no broad impact on the economy is because we were so forceful early on in forcing these banks to hold more capital against risk so the fact that this is a manageable loss is a testament to the strength of reform but it also a very powerful argument not to weaken the reforms and make sure the rules we are shaping are tough and effective in protecting the economy from these mistakes. >> brown: but more m who want more point exactly to the lobbying power of the banks to weaken it didn't kick in the volcker rule. >> the lobbying effort is very forceful. it's formidable, they're putting a lot of money into it and they have a lot of plit cal support from the president's opponents but it's having no impact so far on our ability to write tough rules and put in reforms and we'll make sure it doesn't. so we're going to make sure that these effort cans not succeed and people can feel more comfortable because, again this failure in risk management is a pretty powerful case for reform. >> brown: but many people point
to you as the person in the administration who's been most resistant to even stronger measures. >> there's no evidence for that. i have been incredibly supportive and the president's been very tough in trying to make sure these reforms are tough and strong and we're going to continue with that. >> the size of banks and the too big to fail argument? >> absolutely. again, people don't understand this but the dodd-frank act, those reforms put the toughest limits in place on the size of banks in our country, much tougher than anywhere around the world and our banks have much more capital, have less leverage are taking less risk today than they did in the decade before the crisis and we'll be stronger in the economy for it and one good test of that is how well are we absorbing the significant stress we're seeing from europe or the failures in the system. in the u.s. economy now, bank credit is expanding again in part because of the strength of these reforms. >> brown: one more question on this. this also sheds some light, a
new focus again on the seeming coziness between wall street and washington. elizabeth warren who helped set up the consumer protection agency now running for senate in massachusetts. she said jamie dimon, head of j.p. morgan should not be sitting on the board of the new york fed. that it isn't right because they help regulate those banks. >> that's not a new observation or concern. it's been made by many people over the last several years. >> brown: do you think it's right? >> i think it's true and i think it's a problem that the structure of the fed established 90 years ago and it's true for federal reserve banks across the country creates that basic perception and that's something worth trying to change. but the american people should understand that although the fed was set up that way those banks and the members of the board play no role in supervision, they have no role in the writing of the rules and they play no role in the decision of the fed
to respond to a financial crisis. their vole to help provide perspective on what's happening in the economy as a whole but i agree that perception is a problem and it's worth trying to figure out how to fix that. >> brown: do you think jamie dimon should be off the board. >> that's the question he'll have to make and the fed will have to make. it's very important given the damage caused by the crisis that our system of oversight and safeguard and the enforcement authorities have not just the resources they need but are perceived to be above any political influence and have the independence and ability to make sure these reforms are tough and effective so we can protect the american people from a crisis like this. we're going to do that. >> pelley: the last jobs number, 115,000 jobs created, the last number. the last g.d.p. suggested a slowing of the economy. you have repeatedly said you see the economy growing, healing, but do these numbers suggest otherwise? >> i think the economy is gradually getting stronger. a lot of challenges ahead but
most measures of the economy we can all look at and see everyday that suggests gradual continual strengthening but we face some risks and uncertainty, not in the least from europe now. >> are you sure about that? most people don't seem to see that. i see a new poll by the quinnipiac group, a survey, it said more than two-thirds of americans believe we're still a recession. more than 40% think they're financially worse off than they were four years ago. they don't seem to see the improvement. >> it's a very tough economy. think of what the country was through and you're still seeing a huge amount of damage and that had deep lasting scars on the basic confidence of americans but everything we can see and feel in the economy supports this picture of gradual continued strengthening. the economy has been growing now for more than two and a half years there's more than 4.2 million americans back to work
in the private sector. those are good concrete examples but the you look across the country today, even here where we are today, you can see evidence of companies expanding, hiring people, innovating, exports and that's encouraging. we need to do more of that and that will require trying to get congress to do more things and help the economy. >> brown: i'm wondering if this is frustrating with you. i looked at an interview you did with jim lehrer for our program two years ago. very similar situation, even some of the same language about the scars, about how long it takes, about seeing some signs of progress but not enough and here you are two years later seeing the same thing. is that frustrating? >> that was the reality we faced. the things that caused this crisis-- the worst financial crisis since the great depression-- were a long time in the making and they were going to take a long time to work through. as an example, we need to bring down debt-to-income to a more reasonable level. there was a huge amount of increased risk in the financial sector, that had to come down.
america really built and bought too many houses. those things take time to work through. there's no quick path to that. >> brown: you've been at this for three-plus years. when you look back are there mistakes you think you might have made or things you wish you could have done differently vis-a-vis economic growth policy? >> as you know i have a lot of experience in financial crises around the world. watched them over a long period of time and i am very confidante that the actions the president took helped take and he was building on some of the initial steps my predecessor took were remarkably effective and critically important at gets growth started again. when he took office the economy was shrinking at an annual rate of 9% a year. worst financial shock since the great depression and within six months the economy was growing again. >> brown: but here we are in another campaign. so you think he's got a record on jobs and the economy he can proudly run on? >> absolutely. if you look at how we're doing relative to any other major
country in the world today, look at how we managed our crisis relative to not just how the u.s. has managed it in the past or how japan did but look at europe today. look at any measure we can point to of economic strength and they provide overwhelming support for the choices he made early on. those are very tough choices. put out the financial fires, get growth started. he did it will almost no help from his opponents. deep political costs and those things make us stronger. we have a lot of work to do. we have a lot of work to do still. >> brown: speaking of europe, every time it seems there's a new deal or it's solved and it flares up again, i saw an interview you did april 25, not long ago you said europe is doing a better job of managing their crisis and then we have a couple of elections and things look bad again and today you have british prime minister cameron worrying about huge risks for everyone. how worried are you about the dangers? >> this is the thing about politics and elections.
europe does have better tools for managing the crisis now and we're seeing an encouraging debate within these elections between growth and austerity, how to get these countries going again and that's very important. and even chancellor merkel said on behalf of germany they want to keep greece in the area and they want to help make that possible so i think they're going to have to do more and it's a very challenging period for europe and he'll have a chance to talk about with them when they meet. >> brown: treasury secretary tim geithner thanks for talking with us. >> good to see you. >> warner: and to the presidential race, reports of a proposed attack-ad campaign lit up the internet today. we go to ray suarez with our regular daily download segment. >> suarez: and we turn to our regular look at the campaign as it plays out in social media and on the web. for that we're joined by two
journalists from the web site "daily download." www.daily-download.com. lauren ashe burn is the site's editor-in-chief and howard kurtz is "newsweek's" washington bureau chief and host of cnn's "reliable sources." howie, a story that was burning up the digital pathways fizzled early this afternoon when billionaire joe rikkettes who promised to run a multimillion dollar ad campaign attaching president obama to his old paster jeremiah wright fizzled. he couldn't pull the trigger on the campaign. >> it unfolded in the old media way, ray. the "new york times" obtaining a detailed copy of this plan to make jeremiah wright an issue as he had been in 2008 but it was just after 6:00 in the morning that david axelrod and the obscene your advisor went on twitter and posted his reaction. stunning. will mitt stand up as john mccain did or allow the purveyors of slime to operate on his behalf? that speeded up everything
almost at a hyperspeed pace. >> suarez: along with the raw story, lauren, we had the entire media strategy to be read from beginning to ed online as well. >> it was a 54-page professionally bound color photograph document that laid out exactly what the plan would be and by this afternoon we had a statement from joe rickettes that said this is not a campaign that i'm going to endorse and... or run and it went back and troon on twitter with those remarks and the author of the "new york times" piece coming out and saying don't forget, though, on page 26 of this 54-page document it says "with your preliminary approval at the new york meeting here's this report." >> i do have to note that although this was leaked by somebody who was opposed to this and was trying to sink it, the "times" did not... the "times" interviewed the head of this super pac, the pro-romney super pac who didn't reject it out of
hand and said it was being actively considered. now pressure was so great that not only did joe rickettes said he rejected such approaches to politics but mitt romney in an interview with an online publication said he would repudiate it even though he has no control over it technically. >> what's so interesting is joe rickettes didn't have to spend a dime. he has all the publicity he wants, he's bringing back jeremiah wright, tying him to obama, bringing up a 2008 story. if you remember in 2008 would be president obama said i am outraged at all of the comments that jeremiah wright made. so it's bringing it all back from that campaign four years ago. but no one paid a penny. >> suarez: and it reminds you of how quickly these things happen now. that document in the old days would have been described to viewers, leners, readers and now you can read it for yourself if
you have the stomach for it >> i think people become more engaged when they have the document themselves. it used to be only the gatekeepers had the document now it's placed on twitter, on facebook, on the "new york times" web site, everybody can take a look at it and start all of this commenting. >> that's the point. everybody can now take a look at it, kevin go on twitter, facebook, any other social media site and weigh in and that undoubtedly helped convince the romney campaign it didn't want to wait one news cycle before knocking this thing down. >> suarez: both campaigns have been active this week. what have you got for us? >> well, talking about video. in terms of video it seems like the obama campaign is still trouncing the romney campaign, as you've said many times romney did not have the resources to put into web videos. but take a look at this graphic
this that we put together here. youtube politics shows that the obama campaign videos... the people who watched as of last week, president obama's videos 185 million views. and mitt romney's? 6.8 million. that's a pretty stark contrast. >> and the latest obama web video we'll talk about has a companion web site. so the obama campaign create this is romney economic... www.romneyeconomics.com with information about romney's tenure when he was head of bain capital and that was a takeover company buying steel plants in this case and other places. sometimes jobs are created, other times jobs are lost. guess which one the obama campaign is focusing on? the steel plant in kansas city where people's jobs are lost. >> well, if you look here you can see the play button, they also put the videos on this romney economics web site to make it very easy for people to
see both a two-minute version and the six-minute longer version where very heart felt pleas by people who worked here saying if bain hadn't come in, if romney hadn't been here we would still have jobs and we wouldn't have lost our pension. >> can we see an excerpt of that? >> why don't we go to the videotape? >> suarez: i think we can. >> it came in and sucked the life out of us. >> it was like watching an old friend bleed to death. >> as i look around at the millions of americans without work, it breaks my heart. >> suarez: let's remember that if you had to buy the national time to show this to 185 million people that would be expensive. this is cheap. >> the obama campaign told me it has put this... a version of this ad on the evening news in five states. that's a drop in the bucket. didn't cost them very much. putting it on the web, driving it through social media, creating the web site is a very inexpensive and effective way of trying to bring back something
that's been an issue dogging romney since he ran against ted kennedy in 1994 and that's the record of bain capital where some people whose firms were taken over, went bankrupt, lost their pension plans, some cases lost their health care and lost their jobs. >> in talking to ed gillespie today who is a senior advisor to the romney campaign his point in all of this is to bring it back to president obama's record of the last three and a half years saying this has nothing to do with what mitt romney did or didn't do at bain capital. what we at the romney campaign need to focus on is how the president has done in the last three years and the 23 million people who have gone out of work. >> either out of work or looking for work or dropped out of the work force. >> suarez: it's early yet with that big bulge for obama video views. the romney campaign also is trying to describe the president's record economically and using film in the same way.
>> right and we have a clip of that to show you. >> millions of americans are struggling under the obama economy here are a few of their stories. >> when the economy went bad i lost my job, i lost my house. >> suarez: can you get tougher online than puck in a commercial in broadcast environment? >> i think so because you don't have to have the candidate saying "i approve this message." but what's fascinating is the way in which both of these campaigns are trying to tap into the anger and frustrations of the pain of the economy except romney wants to do it on the economy of the last three years blaming it on barack obama. the obama campaign wants to say you're running as a businessman? here's what you did when you ran bain capital focusing on a very different era >> what's interesting about the videos we're seeing or incidentally on mother's day both of them did mother's day videos honoring anne romney and michele bachmann s michelle
obama. same reaction, though. president obama has the video down, he has the people watching videos, captivated by his videos mitt romney isn't there yet. he's making the effort to create these very well produced documentary style videos. the campaign is starting to get the hang of it... >> you're saying it's less snernl >> no, the videos coming out of the romney campaign haven't really grabbed hold of the followers. >> suarez: lauren ashe burn and howard kurtz of the daily download, good to see you both. >> thank you. >> brown: next tonight, narrowing the gap between urban and rural dwellers that exists even in a relatively prosperous country such as thailand. special correspondent fred de sam lazaro reports on one social entrepreneur's project in that southeast asian nation. a version of this segment aired on the pbs program, "religion and ethics newsweekly".
>> reporter: it looks more like a theme park than a school. it's not just its location-- in one of thailand's most impoverished regions-- that's unusual. buildings are built of bamboo, including a geodesic dome, just one way mechai viravaidya is getting people to think differently. >> just to show that you can do things people don't normally think can be done such as getting under privileged kids to be at the top of the scale of many things. >> reporter: the mechai pattana school is the cornerstone of an idea to attack rural poverty and stereotypes-and to instill a new kind of learning. >> this is our sex education wheel. >> reporter: the wheel of fortune game teaches about various sexually transmitted disease. >> green is a safe color. aha! h.i.v. oh, boy. then they have a good laugh and
then h.i.v. is explained over there. >> reporter: mechai has long relied on good laughs to explain h.i.v. and sex education in this conservative southeast asian nation. born to physicians parents, his mother from scotland his father from a prominent thai family, mechai was trained as an economist. but he became a tv personality who spearheaded family planning campaigns in the '70s and, two decades later, condom use to prevent h.i.v. i first interviewed him in 1998. >> we said, look, one must not be embarrassed by a condom. it's just from a rubber tree, like a tennis ball. if you're embarrassed by a condom, you must be more embarrassed by a tennis ball, there's more rubber in it. >> reporter: mechai is credited with bringing down thailand's soaring h.i.v. infection rate and its high birth rate. work that won him numerous international awards, including the one million dollar gates foundation prize for global health. dr. malcolm potts, former head of the international planned parenthood federation says it
changed the future of thailand. >> because in 1960, thailand and the philippines had about the same population, about 60 people, 50 million people. today the philippines has 94 million people and there's a lot of poverty. thailand has 1.8 children per family, it's got about 68 million people and it's making progress. >> reporter: potts was an early collaborator with mechai. he says population stability was an economic stepping stone. >> i think it's a seamless evolution. mechai, at least in the past used to talk about fertility led development. >> reporter: thailand, now considered a middle income country, faces a different crisis that mechai is attacking: a growing economic gap between its rural and urban areas that forces young people to leave the farms to find work. on a beach resort once owned by mechai's family, it's now run by a non profit group he founded-is a garden of so called intensive agriculture.
he wants to develop appropriate sustainable technology to increase incomes in farm families. >> this is the new style of condom. this is the poverty eradication condom! >> reporter: the unusual metaphor aside, he says these recycled bags of potting soil can grow produce-- in this case cantaloupes-- with a minimum of water and space and maximum profit. >> you grow it four times a year, so that's 24,000 baht, that's just under $1,000 for this much space. nearly as good as marijuana, might even be better, don't have to share with the police either. >> reporter: all joking aside, he says other thai staples-- mushrooms, limes, poultry and hydroponic produce could easily be grown in rural enterprises, like those he's helped set up in buriram province, about four hours from bangkok. he's worked here for two decades, introducing his new crop ideas. earlier in his career, he helped bring factories to the region. they now operate independently.
>> you have a factory in the middle of nowhere. >> reporter: this shoe factory was started with thai and international grants. it now provides work for 140 to 200 people, producing mostly for the multinational bata shoe company. >> we helped, from canadian money, to provide a loan for the factory-building and then helped to get bata to come in, rented the machinery, then bought the machinery, they've been on their own for 15 years. >> reporter: a short distance away are buildings once used to train people to raise livestock. now they are factories, making brassieres in this building, ice skates in the next. >> it's hard to imagine an old chicken pen and an old pigpen making this stuff or brassieres. >> reporter: was it tough to sell? >> oh yes, took seven visits. they did it out of pity at first, then realized that it worked. they can't quite fathom it how
it can be done. they're so used to the perception that you do everything like this in bangkok, in the city. >> reporter: the factories provide livable if not lucrative wages and social benefits. but to truly transform rural communities, mechai says will take new approaches to education. and that's where the bamboo school comes in. it is now three years old, serving grades seven through 10. funds to build it came from profits from his resort, the gates prize money and corporate donations. longer term, the school is developing its own vegetable farm, a key part of its business strategy. so when this is up and running and flourishing, the cantaloupes and the limes will be paying the teacher salaries. >> amongst other things.
>> reporter: the motto here is: give a little to get a little. aside from academics, every student and family faces strict work requirements. >> the parents do community service and the kids do community service and for every lunch time or meal time, they have to do one hours of community service so that payment is in providing help to other people. that's their school fees. >> reporter: as part of their service, these students were preparing lesson plans to teach younger children in a nearby government school. it's part of their training in leadership and critical thinking, and a departure from the rote learning standard in most thai public schools. >> ( translated ): the teachers, they're here to teach us but they're also like friends, like an older friend that you can go to for advice not just about what you're learning but if >> ( translated ): my parents are rice farmers and i expect my future to be quite different because i want to become a doctor and i believe i can do that. i've learned new ways to help my parents, who are used to doing
agriculture the traditional ways and i can help raise their income. >> reporter: and because students at this school regularly volunteer, they feel connected to their rural communities, says teacher nantina saninchai. she predicts two thirds of them will create or find jobs here. >> ( translated ): so a number will stay here, not that they'll they have computers etc, similar to what they would in the city. >> reporter: ideas from mechai school are catching on, with various backyard enterprises. on weekends in the village of banong takem children collect litter in exchange for spending time online at a community center or in a toy and book library. parents prepare food and hand out treats. the village chief, chamleung panrin says one reason this community thrives is that parents are around for their children. >> ( translated ): eight years
ago, migration was rampant, everybody would leave and you only had children being brought up by the grandparents. now it has very greatly improved. >> the only road out of poverty is through business enterprise and this is what we're doing. teach them, train them, lend them the money, not give them the money and the business skills. but very, very important to go with it too is community empowerment. >> reporter: and you say they have to start young? >> start them young. when you start learning how to give when they're young, when you get older its second nature. just like stealing. start young and you keep on stealing forever. >> reporter: mechai says he won't mind if more people steal this self-help model of building community and nation. >> warner: fred's reporting is a partnership with the under-told stories project at saint mary's university in minnesota. >> brown: finally tonight, "the last dance".
we remember singer donna summer. ♪ >> brown: donna summer used to say she grew up on rock and roll, but she came to be known as the "queen of disco", defining the genre with her sultry vocals and pulsing rhythms. she was born ladonna adrien gaines in boston in 1948, and was raised on gospel music, becoming a soloist in her choir by ten. >> "i found the answer" was the first song that i sang when i started signing solo in church. you know, i was only eight. i opened my mouth and this... this voice just shot out of me. it shocked and it shocked everybody in the room. i started crying and everyone in the room started crying. >> brown: summer broke onto the
disco scene in 1975 with her first hit, "love to love you baby". it was an instant classic, a kind of sexual anthem for the times. ♪ as disco dominated the rest of the decade, summer followed up with "i feel love", "last dance" and a string of other hits. in 1978, she appeared in the disco film "thank god, it's friday", which won a best song oscar for "last dance". ♪ even as disco faded, summer's popularity survived, and she transitioned to develop a pop- rock vibe with "hot stuff" in 1979. ♪ her new sound led to one of her
biggest hits, "she works hard for the money", released in 1983, played up women's rights. ♪ in all, summer scored 19 number one dance hits-- the final one in 2008-- and she won five grammys, spanning the dance, rock, r&b and inspirational categories. in later years, she lived in naples, florida, where she died of cancer this morning. within hours, fans were gathering at the singer's star on the hollywood walk of fame. >> i always thought she was on the edge, you know. pushing it out, the envelope. god bless her. >> it's a really sad day for everyone. she made some really great music. >> brown: donna summer was 63 years old. >> warner: again, the other
major developments of the day: new census data showed that for the first time, minorities account for a majority of births in the united states. there was word that trading and worries over greece and u.s. economic growth sent wall street down again. the dow industrials lost another 156 points. online, we have a collection of some interesting political images. kwame holman explains. kwame? >> holman: from dewey to george w. bush, we look at some of the best presidential campaign posters dating back two centuries. view the slideshow on our politics page. for this science thursday, hari sreenivasan talks to science correspondent miles o'brien about the future of cheaper space travel as the commercial we continue our series about pregnancy and motherhood with a cancer survival story. all that and more is on our web site: newshour.pbs.org. >> brown: and again, to our honor roll of american service personnel killed in the afghanistan conflict. we add them as their deaths are made official and photographs become available. here, in silence, are 11 more.
>> warner: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. i'm margaret warner. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and david brooks among others. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> this is the at&t network-- a living, breathing intelligence bringing people together to bring new ideas to life. >> look, it's so simple. >> in a year, the bright minds from inside and outside the company come together to work on an idea. adding to it from the road, improving it in the cloud, all in real time. >> good idea. >> it's the at&t network. providing new ways to work together, so business works better.
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